Saturday, August 6, 2011


One last story from Marco Polo--I think you could use the basic story and write a book about this woman:

“You must know, then, that king Kaidu had a daughter named, in the Tartar language, Aigiarm, which means shining moon. This damsel was so strong, that there was no young man in the whole kingdom who could overcome her, but she vanquished them all. Her father the king wished to marry her; but she declined, saying, that she would never take a husband till she met with some gentleman who should conquer her by force, upon which the king, her father, gave her a written promise that she might marry at her own will. She now caused it to be proclaimed in different parts of the world, that if any young man would come and try strength with her, and should overcome her by force, she would accept him for her husband. This proclamation was no sooner made, than many came from all parts to try their fortune.

 The trial was made with great solemnity. The king took his place in the principal hall of the palace, with a large company of men and women; then came the king's daughter, in a dress of cendal, very richly adorned, into the middle of the hall; and next came the young man, also in a dress of cendal. The agreement was, that if the young man overcame her so as to throw her by force to the ground, he was to have her for wife; but if, on the contrary, he should be overcome by the king's daughter, he was to forfeit to her a hundred horses. In this manner the damsel gained more than ten thousand horses, for she could meet with no one able to conquer her, which was no wonder, for she was so well-made in all her limbs, and so tall and strongly built, that she might almost be taken for a giantess.

 At last, about the year 1280, there came the son of a rich king, who was very beautiful and young; he was accompanied with a very fine retinue, and brought with him a thousand beautiful horses. Immediately on his arrival, he announced that he was come to try his strength with the lady. King Kaidu received him very gladly, for he was very desirous to have this youth for his son-in-law, knowing him to be the son of the king of Pamar; on which account, Kaidu privately told his daughter that he wished her on this occasion to let herself be vanquished. But she said she would not do so for anything in the world.

Thereupon the king and queen took their places in the hall, with a great attendance of both sexes, and the king's daughter presented herself as usual, and also the king's son, who was remarkable no less for his beauty than for his great strength. Now when they were brought into the hall, it was, on account of the superior rank of the claimant, agreed as the conditions of the trial, that if the young prince were conquered, he should forfeit the thousand horses he had brought with him as his stake. This agreement having been made, the wrestling began; and all who were there, including the king and queen, wished heartily that the prince might be the victor, that he might be the husband of the princess. But, contrary to their hopes, after much pulling and tugging, the king's daughter gained the victory, and the young prince was thrown on the pavement of the palace, and lost his thousand horses. There was not one person in the whole hall who did not lament his defeat.

After this the king took his daughter with him into many battles, and not a cavalier in the host displayed so much valour; and at last the damsel rushed into the midst of the enemy, and seizing upon a horseman, carried him off to her own people.”


Post a Comment